Gems And Jewels: 6 Local Jewelry Designers You Should Know

By Sarah Stallmann
In Style

Six St. Louis area jewelry designers are on our radar, having mastered the art of hand-crafted baubles and bangles at price points that won’t break the bank.

1. Belle Style Bijoux

Photo courtesy of Belle Style.

Photo courtesy of Belle Style.

Owner and designer Heather Krako developed the specialty boutique line, Belle Style Bijoux in 2003, effortlessly creating pieces that radiate a fashion-forward and earthy vibe. “We thrive on finding pieces from around the world, and using the best materials at an attainable price point,” says Krako, whose brand is handcrafted locally at her Midwest showroom in Kirkwood. Since its inception, Belle Style has been featured in publications such as Glamour, Teen Vogue, US Weekly, Redbook, People and Vogue Japan.  Her newest collection draws inspiration from the Futa River in Patagonia—a mystical and intense river believed to be full of mystery and magic. The collection features quartz, raw pyrite and Peacock Ore, with accents of genuine pigskin tassels and American-made brass chains. Shop Belle Style locally at KLUTCH, Blue Bird the Boutique and Sparkle in Kirkwood.

2. Fable + Lore

Photo courtesy of Fable + Lore.

Photo courtesy of Fable + Lore.

Designer Chelsie Hellige scours the urban wilderness of St. Louis and beyond to locate the perfect natural materials to build her modern bohemian jewelry creations. Free-spirited and unpretentious, Fable + Lore is a nature lover’s dream, perfectly combining fashionable influences with a vintage touch. Hellige’s key materials include raw minerals, wood, copper, brass, and various vintage baubles. “I scout the universe for high-quality, naturally formed stones like Pyrite, Amethyst, Quartz Crystal, Citrine, and Black Tourmaline. I embellish them very little,” says Chelsie, “I let the stones do the talking.” Her newest collection of modern macramé necklaces—a classic 70s revival—blend perfectly with her expansive selection of raw mineral pendants and industrial inspired arrow pieces. Shop Fable + Lore locally at The Heirloom Room, Parsimonia Vintage, K. Hall Designs and The Foundrie.

3. Hyper Haute

Photo courtesy of Hyper Haute.

Photo courtesy of Hyper Haute.

Hyper Haute designer Erica Dunk has mastered the art of creating meticulously crafted styles that range from avant-garde to everyday, encapsulating their wearer with a glowing confidence. A staple at top tier consignment shops in the area, Hyper Haute Jewelry has been featured on VH1, MTV, Trendhunter.com, at NYFW and on the pages of British Vogue and VIBE Magazine. Last year, Dunk was honored as RAW Artist’s National Accessory Designer of the Year, earning her a spot as one of the top brands to watch in 2013. Specializing in necklaces, her sparkly creations are eye-catching and fashion-forward, utilizing non-traditional materials in conjunction with timeless elements to produce one-of-a-kind statement jewelry. Shop Hyper Haute locally at Rung and Byrd.

4. Lily Dawson Designs

Photo courtesy of Lily Dawson.

Photo courtesy of Lily Dawson.

Kansas City-based Lily Dawson has taken the Midwest by storm, becoming one of the biggest up-and-coming names in the local jewelry scene in the past five years. Her pieces illuminate an affordable luxury—creating an unparalleled collection of sparkly earrings, necklaces and novelty baubles like hand chains and midi rings. “My jewelry is completely based on ideas that I come up with through my day-to-day interactions,” explains Dawson, “A neon sign next to a dark and dingy alley provides inspiration to juxtapose something like neon-painted jewels and pyrite stones.”  Her newest spring collection is a loose mix of tribal elements—from African beads and high-shine crystals to rough copper and brass fittings—creating a bright color palette to accent any wardrobe. Shop Lily Dawson Designs locally at Blush and JuJuBe’s.

5. Scarlett Garnet

Photo courtesy of Scarlett Garnet.

Photo courtesy of Scarlett Garnet.

St. Louis-based Katie Miller and partner, current Kansas City resident Garnet Griebel, have made their long distance design relationship work in the best way possible. Together, their jewelry line Scarlett Garnet has become one of the most recognizable local brands—with delicate details and exceptional quality capturing the attention of boutiques and publications across the country. Currently, the pair is riding high after the launch of their much anticipated “Zodiac” collection and the celebration of the two-year anniversary of their Cherokee Street storefront. Despite their popularity, Miller and Griebel have accomplished true originality. “We are proud that we don’t follow trends,” says Miller, “we have continued to create pieces that are from our inspiration, not as an answer to the latest hot thing.” Shop Scarlett Garnet locally at their Cherokee Street Showroom, Maven, The Foundrie, Paisley and East + West.

6. Traces of Truth

Photo courtesy of Traces of Truth.

Photo courtesy of Traces of Truth.

Bringing a unique, fashion-forward edge to the design table, Tracy McKeown began developing her brand, Traces of Truth, several years ago when the demand grew for her stylish, wood carved jewelry pieces in vibrant colors. Fast forward to present day, and McKeown’s eye for creating eclectic, wearable art is  more recognizable than ever—a favorite among the underground community of musicians and artists around the area including Teresa Jenee, Theresa Payne, and Thelonius Kryptonite.

Key pieces include the “Bully” ring and the “Climb” necklace, both accented with hand-painted quartz, and the “Peace Rebel” ear cuff, handcrafted from antique brass, pyrite and ankh. “I love geometric shapes that are enhanced by texture,” says McKeown, “each piece is created with natural stones and elements that radiate positive energy.” Shop locally at various area pop-up shops and TracesofTruth.bigcartel.com

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